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As I See It

Why aren’t clerks getting the funding they need to run elections?



Wisconsin voters will go to the polls two weeks from today to vote in a variety of races. In La Crosse County, there are presidential primaries, along with races for County Board, School Board and a judge’s race. On the back of the ballot are two statewide referendum questions. Both deal with elections. One would ban local clerks from accepting private donations to help administer elections. During the pandemic, a handful of Wisconsin cities, including La Crosse, were given a grant from a foundation run by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife. The grants were designed to offset the costs of running the election, which went up during the pandemic. Many cities used the money to cover the increased costs of mailing suddenly popular absentee ballots, as well as to buy personal protective equipment like masks, partitions and hand sanitizers. The referendum question, if passed, would prevent clerks from accepting any non-government money to fund the costs of administering elections. But this grant money did not impact the outcome of the election. The money went to parts of the state that are red and parts that are blue. The grants did not tell anyone how to vote, or prevent anyone from voting. If we are going to prevent clerks from accepting outside money, then our lawmakers should get back to work and provide our clerks the state money they need to administer our elections.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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  1. Roy

    March 19, 2024 at 9:16 am

    I’m afraid that you can be quite naive. Do you want ballot boxes paid for by George Soros? Mark Zuckerberg only donates where he gains from it. How about voting machines engineered and paid for by Jane Fonda?
    Scott, the taxpayers will gladly pay for the stamps for your beloved early voting. Keep all aspects of elections funded and administered locally.

  2. Walden

    March 19, 2024 at 1:04 pm

    Why aren’t clerks getting the funding they need (not sure this is actually the case)? Maybe you should ask the county board which is responsible for funding the county clerk.

    Specifically, if you are talking about La Crosse County, then I have to ask where did $25 million of Covid funding go if not to make sure basic services like voting mechanisms are funded. As usual, its not that there is not enough $ to go around; it is about the choices made by government, many of the them bad. Every county in WI shared in the Covid windfall.

    Who could think it is a good idea for idealogues to inject dark money with no control mechanism into deeply partisan states; no matter if its Zuckerburg on one hand or Koch bros on the other. Use some common sense.

  3. Kent Porter

    March 20, 2024 at 12:55 pm

    Elections are funded , zukerbucks and Soros bucks are used to CHEAT ON ELECTIONS !!!!!!!!!!!

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